The only way to tell if the missing students had made a difference would be to isolate their test scores, and track just the scores of students who stayed at the school—and took the tests—both years.
SN&R obtained the individual student scores on the CST for all students in the district for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years. The district did not give SN&R student names, but instead generated a unique ID number for every student who took the CST tests in those years.
That gave SN&R the chance to compare test scores just before and just after the implementation of the priority schools. And it allowed us to separate out the students who actually took the test, at the same schools, both years, and to track their progress.
Looked at this way, SN&R found that average English scores for Hiram Johnson students were flat from one year to the next. In math, the scores actually dropped a bit.
Brilliant. Nice Alice Mercer quotes too!
More like this please.